After much ado! Here is the second installment (of three) of the Getty Villa birthday picnic surprise series. I don’t THINK I have many words to add here, because the desserts speak for themselves… but I always tend to say that before typing out a giant paragraph. So we’ll see what strikes me. (As usual– click on the pictures to see them BIGGER.)
And major props to the Picnik editing tools (which I use through Flickr), without which many of these pictures would have been a lot less pretty. Maybe I went a little overboard with the editing. Or maybe it’s too subtle. Maybe I went underboard. (I can’t tell!)
I GRAPPLED for days over which cupcake picture to use. (I always GRAPPLE over the smallest, silliest decisions, and make the big ones in a snap. Weird.) Of course, you’ll never know what you’re missing. (Well– you can check out the rest in my Getty Picnic Flickr set.)
Seriously, it’s NUTS how much cake has been in my life this past month or so. My stomach has been a little off lately, and I’m wondering if I AM allergic to wheat, after all. It would be kind of appropriate if I unwittingly spent the month before a cake-less life binging on cake. Going out with a bang.
At least I could look back at the blog and see all my cake pictures and memories, and take heart in the fact that most of the cakes didn’t necessarily taste as amazing as they looked. (Though I always try to be kind on the blog.) (But for real, Sprinkles is UP THERE. Never a dry cupcake in the batch.)
As if this picnic wasn’t enough of a present, Lauren crafted a special set of stationery just for me (I have such a big ego now!), along with the AWESOME personalized heart pillow. (With a name like mine, I didn’t exactly grow up being able to get those name-stickers off the rack.) Not only does she know my favorite snacks, but she knows my favorite colors/images.
Note that the cupcake on the card has a little flag in it– just like the flags in the cupcakes at the picnic. (NICE!)
Lauren also gave me this adorable card, which she picked up at LA’s Renegade Craft Fair. (I couldn’t go because I had improv class. So LA!)
As you can see, I had a lot of fun using the flags and the pillow as photo-shoot props.
In that photo the flag looks like it’s staking a claim. In the next, it looks like a sign of surrender.
Word on the street (aka Lauren’s blog) is that she’s going to post a little DIY tutorial that will show you how to make those flags. (That link in the parentheses will take you to HER post about the picnic. She managed to do it all in ONE post, because she’s good at things.)
I got a little goofy with the macarons. This looks like a face, to me. (Though I think I intended for it to be double hearts.)
I also wanted to show you WHAT’S INSIDE a macaron. (Delicious cream stuff.) (Lauren was right– in the case of these Trader Joe’s macarons, the vanilla ones are better. Even the consistency of the cookie part of the vanilla seemed better– less dense/chewy. Must be the different ingredients that go into the different flavors.) (But the chocolate were still good. Just not AS good.)
Obviously I was feeling the love for the macarons. Another attempt at the double hearts…
Some of my friends are still confused as to who RUNS this blog that I’m always promoting on my Facebook. If all these Elysse-name photos don’t answer that question, I don’t know what will.
Maybe the Getty Villa was my muse, silently inspiring the double hearts, because later I stumbled across this detail on a mosaic/fountain.
Not sure what those double hearts are flanking, but it just might be an Ancient Greek version of a French macaron. (And by “just might be” I mean “definitely isn’t.”)
This picture is one of my favorites of the day. It looks quite editorial. (Somehow I even managed to avoid including the background-napkin-trash.) If you replace the Elysse with “Oprah,” this publisher-ready. (Probably not.)
I like to think of the areas of soft focus as an artistic choice, rather than not-amazing-quality camera issues.
Also, I chose to feature the cinnamon cupcake from Sprinkles because I’m a little bit obsessed. Not only is it the cupcake version of a Snickerdoodle (MUCH LOVE), but it’s a FROSTINGLESS cupcake. As you know, I’m a little queasy about frosting. So… sign me up. Double hearts for cinnamon sugar.
(I’m totally that girl in the romantic comedy who THOUGHT she loved red velvet, but over time she realized that he was all looks and flash and not as tasty as everybody made him out to be. Meanwhile, nice-guy cinnamon was there all along, ready to love her– but she took a long time to get over her initial prejudices about him, because some cinnamon-flavored things, like gum, are gross-ish.) (OMG, life-imitating-food preferences.)
The Getty Villa is a modern-day replica of a villa in Ancient Greece. Of course, the REAL villas back in Greece are in ruins by now. And here are the ruins of our picnic. (Food-imitating-Greece.)
The more I type “Greece,” the less it seems like a real word.
You maybe be wondering what became of those surviving cupcakes. We put everything back in the car before we explored the Villa. Later that night, post-Spitz, I took a few pictures of the cupcakes with my birthday cake-plate.
And then we ate them. Two girls, three cupcakes. Nice work. (Cole bowed out pre-Spitz, or I’m sure he would have helped.)
Once again: Thanks to Lauren and Cole! Amazing desserts! Can’t wait to eat more desserts with you. There are so many out there. Never a shortage.
Coming soon: The final installment– “The Villa.” As much as it’s nice to post a blog entry and be done with it, I’ll be sad to put this experience to bed. But luckily the memories will stay here, and I can visit them. A la the Getty Villa. (Food blog-imitating-museum.)